Nature conquers the desert
One of the stopovers you don’t want to miss on the MSC Cruises to Dubai, Abu Dhabi & Qatar is the capital of the Mascate and Oman Sultanate, as Oman was known before the rise to the throne of Qabus ibn Said.
Salalah is the capital of the Dhofar, the region in the southwest of the country. In the verdant surroundings of the city, still seasonally watered by the fine rain of the monsoons, you find coconut palms and Boswellia sacra tree, from which you make the most precious incense used since antiquity by the Egyptians.
As you step off the ship in your visit to Salalah you will soon be amazed by its historic and artistic wealth. A short way away from Salalah, one can visit the Khor Rori archaeological site, with the ruins of the ancient city of Sumhuran where an excursion can offer the excitement of entering the summer palace of the Queen of Sheba.
What today is one of the many sites of Oman to be protected under UNESCO as world heritage, was once the main port for the export of incense. And there is an abundance of UNESCO sites in this area: "the Archaeological site of al-Balid"; the archeological and rupestrian findings of Shisr/Ubar; and the wadi Dawkah which is about 25km north of Salalah, in the region of Najd, just to mention a few.
The anthropological heritage of Oman combined with a fauna of undeniable richness, especially the vast variety of bird species which fly by or nest in these lands, have earned Salalah the title of “Bride of the Arabian Sea”. To admire one of the most intriguing castles of the region, one can choose an excursion to Taqah, 33km from Salalah, where, in the 19th century, sheik Ali bin Taman Al Ma’shani built his home, which today is a museum of Oman culture.